Only when a highly intoxicated Hawera man - who would shortly after be pronounced dead - stopped snoring did arresting officers call for an ambulance and begin CPR.
More than two hours earlier, Allen Ball had been unsteady on his feet and repetitive in his speech after being arrested at his Hawera home for assaulting his partner.
Constable Ben Patterson is in the witness box in the High Court at New Plymouth this morning, continuing to give evidence in the manslaughter trial of three Hawera police officers, who all have name suppression.
Ball, 55, died in their custody at the Hawera Police Station on June 1, 2019.
Patterson was one of several officers sent to Ball's Hawera home after the alleged assault.
Patterson told the court Ball told them to leave him alone after approaching him down a tanker track next to his home.
"He kept saying, 'just leave me alone, leave alone'. He just kept saying that."
Ball was handcuffed and didn't respond to the fact that he was being arrested for the assault on his partner, Stacey Whitmore.
Patterson said he then began driving and not long after turning on to Hastings Rd he asked Officer B to ask Ball for his version of events. Officer B replied that Ball was "snoring".
Ball continued to snore at the station and CCTV footage played to the court showed Patterson and Officers B and C trying to rouse Ball in the police car.
Officer A arrived a few minutes later with other officers. Ball's handcuffs were removed and they carried Ball into cell 1 on a blanket.
Ball then had most of his clothing removed. Patterson said Ball continued to snore.
Laughing can be heard and the cell door is eventually closed.
When questioned by Crown prosecutor Cherie Clarke, Patterson said there was no discussion about Ball's state or who should check in on him.
He confirmed that if a prisoner continued not to respond to pain techniques that an ambulance should be called.
At 2.25am, Patterson is seen on CCTV checking on Ball, after being called by Officer C.
"He had stopped snoring.
"[Officer C] checked for a pulse and I call for an ambulance and notified [Officer A]. [Officer B] comes in at that point and requests fire as well and CPR commenced immediately."
In cross-examination from Susan Hughes QC, Officer A's defence counsel, Patterson confirmed they would often arrest intoxicated people who would fall asleep, snoring loudly.
When asked if snoring could mean anything else other than sleeping, Patterson replied that he hadn't had "any training in snoring".
If someone was breathing and snoring, he would believe the person was simply sleeping.
Senior Constable Rocco Gous told Crown prosecutor Jacob Bourke Officer B did a good job of keeping Ball calm as he went to arrest him, after he initially put up a slight protest.
When he was approached, Ball told them, "I don't want to come with you … I don't have to go with you, I don't have to go with you … when [Officer B] placed him under arrest he did become slightly agitated and [his] arms were flailing a little bit."
Officer A then intervened and reassured Ball that everything was going to be alright; he then calmed down before Officer B was able to put handcuffs on him.
Gous went with Officer A in a separate patrol car back to the station, where they arrived to find the police car with Ball inside parked on an angle and Ball on the ground with officers standing around him.
Realising Ball wasn't responding to any instructions and his limbs were limp, Gous said "it looked like he was unconscious".
He suggested they carry Ball inside on a tear-resistant blanket, as it was "a little bit tricky" trying to carry Ball, given he was a "large man" and wet, due to it raining outside.
"It was just a matter of coming up with a plan to carry Ball in safely into the charge room and out of the rain. It was pretty wet.
"His clothes were wet, he was pretty slippery."
As the officers carried Ball into the police station, Gous said he commented that it looked like Ball had his eyes half open and a grin on his face.
"I did make mention to the officers that I wasn't sure if he was unconscious or if he was just having us on," he told the court.
Gous said it sounded like Ball was making "sighing or grunting noises" after being put in the cell.
In her opening statement to the jury on Monday, Crown prosecutor Cherie Clarke alleged the officers were grossly negligent in their duty of care to the victim.
The manslaughter charge relates to the officers allegedly failing to provide the necessities of life, namely medical attention.
If they had provided medical attention, the Crown alleges, it may have saved his life.
Hughes said her client accepted she had made a mistake that day, but that didn't make her a criminal.
She told the jury to consider whether Officer A breached their duty of care to Ball, and if so, was it a major departure from the level of care expected.
Hughes said Ball died after "deliberately and covertly" ingesting a large amount of tramadol, codeine and alcohol.
Her client didn't seek medical assistance but believed that Ball was "drunk and was sleeping off a bender".
Kylie Pascoe, counsel for Officer B, also told the jury that her client got it wrong, but also believed Ball was sleeping off his intoxication and it would only later be discovered that Ball had "self poisoned".
"[Client] got it wrong."
However, getting it wrong was not the issue, it was determining whether there had been a major departure from the standard of care expected from Officer B.
Andrew Laurenson, for Officer C, said his client did nothing different to other officers who were working that night - but they haven't been charged.
More than 30 family and friends of the accused officers, as well as of Ball, have been in the public gallery since the start of the trial.
They include Ball's former partner, Stacey Whitmore, and Ball's daughter Stacey.
Family of the officers are also in the gallery along with members of Police Association, the organisation which supports police staff.
The trial, now before a jury of four men and seven women, began on Monday and is being overseen by Justice Susan Thomas.
The Crown will call 24 witnesses over the four weeks.